Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Who said it?

Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

A. Ronald Reagan
B. Martin Luther King, Jr.
C. Jimmy Carter

E-mail your answer

Monday, August 18, 2003

First Schwinn

We were mortgage poor. We had a new house on the hill with a beautiful view of sunsets on the Great Salt Lake, yet not enough money for a new bike. But as it turns out that was good. For a while I rode my big sister's old bike. It was something to learn on and it was the beginning of an adventure.

We lived on a steep stretch of Center Street at 1147 East in Bountiful. One day as I rode down the hill the chain broke which meant I had no coaster brakes. As I crashed a sharp edge of the chain guard gouged into my right thigh. The ten widely-spaced stitches I got that day formed a Scorpion-shaped scar which is still faintly visible.

Later I entered the KUTV / Walt Disney Greyfriar's Bobby coloring contest and won the second place prize -- a red Schwinn bike. It had a fancy Bendix "automatic" two speed hub -- just push back on the pedals and it would toggle between the first and second gears. The bike was a little big for me, but I grew into it.

If a new bike had just shown up for a birthday or Christmas, I'd have at lost least half a dozen great memories, probably more. The obvious ones are:

  • Crashing my sister's broken-down bike -- a great way to get rid of a piece of junk.
  • Getting stitches -- a little scary yes, but frankly I liked all the attention.
  • The fun of entering the coloring contest.
  • The surprise and thrill of winning the bike.
  • Not just winning it, but riding it, appreciating it, remembering it.
  • It gave me a story tell. The scar continues to fade, but the adventure remains vivid.

Music and Transplants

If you've read Dan's Cancer Weblog you know that author is in preparing for a BMT - bone marrow transplant. Since Dan's my long-time friend and brother-in-law I find myself seeking information that may be useful to him. Here's something I stumbled across while looking for something else on the Pioneer Library's EBSCO service:

"It may be difficult, but in troubled times, researchers say, people need to take comfort from life's simplest pleasures. In a small study at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, Dr. O. J. Sahler found that bone-marrow transplant patients who listened to music reported less pain and nausea, and their transplants took less time to become functional." -- Newsweek; 2/24/2003, Vol. 141 Issue 8, p50, 2p, 1c

Writing and Healing

I'm continuing to browse through Chia Martin's Writing Your Way Through Cancer. She lists these advantages of writing -- advantages, it seems to me, that appy to almost everyone and may accrue from writing as well as other forms of self expression including drawing, painting, photography, exercise, biking, swimming, fishing, walking, conversation.

Martin says writing:
-strengthens the immune system
-encourages uninhibited expression
-objectifies experience ("...coaxes monsters out of our mind and into the light of reality allow us to see their true nature.")
-generates personal power
-stimulates a mood of healing
-enables de-stressing
-opens a doorway into insight and personal introspection
-clears the mind
-costs nothing, is portable, and available to almost everyone

"You have something to say. It is unique, authentic, soley yours."
--Chia Martin